We are regularly called upon to provide expert testimony and technical assistance to elected officials and regulators around the world about corporate whistleblowing generally and the SEC Whistleblower Program in particular.
While at the SEC, we played a leadership role in the development of the SEC Whistleblower Program, including leading fact-finding visits to various federal agencies, drafting the proposed legislation and briefing House and Senate staff. We also served as a principal drafter of the rules that govern the SEC Whistleblower Program, in particular, Rule 6, which sets forth the criteria used by the Commission to determine the amount of whistleblower awards.
In addition to our work on high-profile whistleblower submissions, we have been vocal and effective advocates for SEC whistleblowers. By way of example, when Congress proposed amendments that would undermine the SEC Whistleblower Program, at the request of prominent advocacy groups, we successfully lobbied lawmakers to preserve the key pillars of the program -- anonymous reporting, employment protections and monetary awards.
Troubled by the use of secrecy agreements and retaliation to silence SEC whistleblowers, in partnership with the Government Accountability Project and as featured in The New York Times, we spearheaded a coalition of more than 250 organizations and nearly two million citizens to petition the SEC for guidance and appropriate rule-making to strengthen whistleblower protections. This grassroots advocacy led the Commission to prosecute several companies for engaging in these troubling practices—including defendants in some of our clients’ cases.
Recognizing our unparalleled experience both in securities enforcement and SEC whistleblower matters, we have been called upon by foreign legislators, regulators and law enforcement officials to provide insight into the development, introduction and execution of the SEC Whistleblower Program. In this regard, we have addressed high-ranking bodies and presented at events, including engagements at the United Nations, UK House of Commons and before Australian legislators. Notable successes include:
Following our recent international assistance visits to Australia, the government agreed to introduce stronger whistleblower protections and to conduct a parliamentary inquiry into whether the bounty system that operates in the United States should be introduced in Australia. During this inquiry, we were formally invited and provided testimony to the Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services.
Following public hearings, in which we provided testimony about the SEC Whistleblower Program and its potential application in Ontario, the Ontario Securities Commission established a whistleblower program similar to the one at the SEC. The new program's website can be found at: http://www.osc.gov.on.ca/en/whistleblower.htm
Widely regarded as thought leaders in our field and champions of corporate whistleblower rights, we are nationally sought after writers, speakers, and media commentators on securities enforcement, corporate ethics and whistleblower issues. Our Op-Eds on whistleblowing have been published in prominent publications such as the New York Times, International Business Times, and USA Today. In fact, no law firm in the world has spoken about the SEC Whistleblower Program with greater frequency and to such large audiences.